California's Next Surfing Resort Will Have the Biggest Waves—Right in the Heart of the Desert

Courtesy Coral Mountain

Ride a perfect barrel in the middle of the desert.

Typically travelers head to the coasts if they’re interested in a little surfing. But one resort community in the Coachella Valley, California, is hoping to make the middle of the desert a big-wave hot spot. 

Real estate and investment firm Meriwether Companies just announced plans for a new development called Coral Mountain. Along with offering a full-service resort, residential homes, a private club, multiple restaurants, and sports and wellness offerings, the new community will be home to the world’s largest man-made wave. And world-famous surfer Kelly Slater is behind the technology. 

“Conveniently located in sunny Southern California, La Quinta is the perfect destination for a wave-based community,” developer Garrett Simon told Departures. “We’re excited to create something radically different in an area that is dominated by golf courses. Coral Mountain will appeal to a range of people at all athletic levels who are looking to get outside of their comfort zones and define themselves through lived and learned experiences.”


Courtesy Coral Mountain

Slater’s company, Kelly Slater Wave Company (KSWC), is the one engineering and designing the ridable open-barrel, human-made wave in the world. Coaching by experts will also be included as well as the ability to adjust the wave for all ability levels. “Kelly Slater and the WSL are industry legends, and the perfect partners to feature as we create a revolutionary new way to live and travel,” said Noah Hahn, Partner, Meriwether Companies, in a statement. 

Beyond the wave, the resort will spread out across 400 acres, have 750 homes, and feature many amenities. Construction is expected to begin at the beginning of 2021 with the launch of real estate sales following soon after.

The KSWC wave system will be exclusively available to homeowners, hotel patrons, members, and their guests. The public will also have access to the unique wave through bookable reservations.  

The dramatic 400-acre site in La Quinta, California is set at the base of Coral Mountain and fully encircled by expansive views of the serene desert landscape. The ethos of this community revolves around the raw natural setting with a focus on sustainability.

“I originally invested with Kelly in 2013 for my own personal surfing progression,” said Michael B. Schwab, Managing Director, Big Sky Wave Developments. “I had no idea the impact it would have on my life, and I realized immediately that I had to share this opportunity. I’ve had everyone from my 4-year-old niece to my 82-year-old father at Surf Ranch in Central California, watching them grow as people through this indescribable surfing experience.”